With Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee relegated to the undercard debate in Milwaukee after their drop in the polls, all eight of the remaining main stage candidates talked more at Tuesday night’s debate. But it was Ted Cruz who made the biggest jump in terms of talk time from the middle of the pack in the last debate to top spot in Milwaukee, adding on more than 5 minutes. According to some, that extra time translated into him winning the debate.
Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio landed in the middle of the pack this time around, which seemed to have had an impact on Fiorina more than Rubio, who is also considered to have won the debate by many. Fiorina wasn’t the disaster that Jeb Bush was, but it was a lackluster performance that paled in comparison to her previous debate performances.
Compare the Milwaukee debate times with the last debate in Colorado. What’s notable is that the bottom three stayed at the bottom and in the exact same order. That, of course, hurts Jeb Bush the most as he tries to convince everyone that he’s still going to be the Republican nominee. Relatively low talking time doesn’t seem to be hurting Ben Carson, however, as he remains at the top of the polls.
Donald Trump continues to stay in the top half of talk times during the debates, but has little to show for it except for getting booed. He appears to have little to say during the issue-specific debates and fades as the evening goes on.
Rand Paul is, well, decoration at this point. He has few minutes and he can often be seen leaning on his elbow on the podium watching the debate take place to his right.
One last note: Kasich complaining that he didn’t get enough talk time last time around is a total falsehood: He got the third most amount of time and just about 30 seconds behind the top talker, Carly Fiorina.